USCIS Awards Nearly $10 Million in Grants to Expand Citizenship Preparation Services in 21 States
On Sept. 1, 2016, USCIS announced the award of nearly $10 million in grants under two competitive funding opportunities to 46 organizations to help permanent residents prepare and apply for U.S. citizenship. The organizations are located in 21 states and will receive funding through September 2018.
Since it began in 2009, the USCIS Citizenship and Integration Grant Program has awarded a total of $63 million through 308 competitive grants to immigrant-serving organizations in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Now in its eighth year, the program has helped more than 156,000 permanent residents prepare for citizenship.
USCIS anticipates that approximately 25,000 permanent residents will receive citizenship preparation services by Sept. 30, 2018 as a result of the new awards issued through the grant program. An additional 12,000 permanent residents will continue to be served under the currently ongoing 2015 fiscal year program, which runs through Sept. 30, 2017.
The first grant opportunity supports organizations that provide citizenship instruction and naturalization legal services. The second opportunity, new this year, will support citizenship education programs at eligible community based organizations, with no requirement to provide naturalization legal services. The second opportunity sought to encourage the expansion of the existing field of citizenship instruction programs, particularly those offered by small, community based organizations that have not previously received a grant from USCIS.
The fiscal year 2016 recipient organizations serve both traditional immigrant destinations and new immigrant gateway cities in 21 states. The grant recipients will provide citizenship preparation services to approximately 25,000 permanent residents from more than 50 countries. The recipients represent:
- 17 of the top 20 states with the largest permanent resident populations (California, New York, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Virginia, Washington, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Connecticut, Ohio, Minnesota and Colorado);
- 9 of the top 10 metropolitan areas with the most new permanent residents in the past 10 years (New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and Boston); and
- 9 of the top 10 states with the most naturalizations over the past 10 years (California, New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington).
For more information on the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, please visit uscis.gov/grants.
If you are interested in applying for naturalization or have questions on the process, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!